SIMI encounter: All 29 prisoners in Bhopal jail had planned to escape on Diwali

New findings indicate that the Bhopal Jail break had been planned for months to free not just the 8 Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) members, but all 29, according to a Hindustan Times report.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The SIMI members were killed on the city outskirts at Malikheda following their escape from the high-security jail after slitting the throat of a security guard and scaling the 32-feet wall using bedsheets in the wee hours of 31 October. This encounter has come under scanner with opposition parties and the lawyer of the slain SIMI activists pointing to several alleged smoking guns to claim that it was fake.

According to a PTI report, on Wednesday, an SIT formed by Madhya Pradesh Police inspected the site of alleged encounter where the eight SIMI men were gunned down while a separate investigation began into the jailbreak by extremists by recreating the scene. The CID team led by SP Anurag Sharma also examined some people about the encounter. Former Director General of Police Nandan Dubey, assigned by the state government with the task of investigating the daring jail break, visited the Central Jail in Bhopal. Asked about the lapses that led to the SIMI activists' escape, he said it was too early to jump to any conclusion.

"We are coming on Deepawali," read notes found by the investigation team on the case, two in English and Hindi and several others in Urdu during a sweep of the nine cells of Block B that housed other SIMI members who failed to escape. Officials think the plan must have been plotted in the hospital, when the inmates were treated together. Additionally, they have also found soap bars with key imprints that, it is said, may have been used to duplicate as many as 17 keys, says the article by India TV.

A report by The Financial Express claims that the eight SIMI suspects who escaped from Block B had planned to rush to Block A to free the others including SIMI chief of Madhya Pradesh, Abu Faisal. However their plan was foiled by two prison guards on duty which led to a struggle in which one was killed.

According to a Free Press Journal report, it is suspected that the eight men knew that 78 CCTV cameras behind the barracks on the premises were out of order, and that they could have received help from someone on the inside.

Where Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had earlier said that NIA would probe the case, in New Delhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh did not specify when the National Investigation Agency would conduct a probe into the case.

"We have not yet received anything (from the state). The Madhya Pradesh government has already ordered an investigation," he said.

Meanwhile, however, the lawyer of the eight SIMI activists, Parvez Alam alleged that the activists had sustained gun shots in the head and chest, after saying that he had seen the autopsy reports of the slain men. Repeating his claim that it was a fake encounter, he said that according to a Supreme Court ruling, police should fire below the waist.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Nov 03, 2016 13:17 PM

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